James Harden of the Brooklyn Nets had one of his best games yet, scoring 36 points in a win over the Detroit Pistons. After getting subbed out early on due to injury and struggling for much of this season, it appears that what we thought was just another average performance would not be so much anymore after all.
James Harden is a guard for the Brooklyn Nets. He has been playing really well recently, and he says that he’s rounding into form after 39 games. Read more in detail here: who does james harden play for.
NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana — James Harden says his body and conditioning weren’t ready to hit 30 and 40 points when he started off sluggish this season.
Harden finally reached 30 points for the first time this season after 13 games, and he came close to hitting 40. The Brooklyn Nets guard scored 39 points and dished out 12 assists in a 120-112 victory against the New Orleans Pelicans at the Smoothie King Center.
Harden said of his return to MVP form, “I’m getting there.” “I knew it wouldn’t be long. The NBA, after all, is the top [level] of the sport, with the world’s most gifted players. So it’ll be difficult for me to simply go out there and do what I do. To be able to play at the level that you have seen me play requires a lot of hard effort.
“It’s like, ‘What’s wrong with James?’ when I’m not scoring 30 points or averaging 18 points. It’s still holding up well. I’ve been playing so well and at such a high level that you people have set expectations for me, and I have set goals for myself. I’m simply going to keep working. I’m feeling much better, and the work isn’t slowing down.”
New Orleans overcame a 21-point third-quarter deficit to take a three-point lead with 4:36 left. Following that, Harden and Kevin Durant combined for 11 points to put the Pelicans away.
Durant, who is off to an MVP-caliber start, finished with 28 points, eight assists, and seven rebounds to help the Nets (9-4) win their seventh game in a row. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Harden and Durant combined for 67 points, their second-highest total in a game as teammates with the Nets, behind the 74 combined points the All-Stars scored on January 16.
Harden stopped when asked what rival defenders can do when both All-Stars are on the floor at the same moment.
“Do you want to pray?” Cracks will harden. “I’m simply tinkering about. It’s challenging, to say the least. We’re two basketball players that are completely selfless. We’re adaptable. Kevin is renowned for his efficiency scoring, but he’s also a willing playmaker, particularly in situations when there are double teams and such. It’s tough to keep an eye on him, and it’s much more difficult to keep an eye on me, particularly while we’re having fun.”
It’s also difficult for teams to contain Harden when he’s approaching the free-throw line. Harden made 6-of-10 three-pointers and finished 11-of-18 from the floor. He did, however, get to the line 15 times and make 11 free throws. Harden’s trip to the free-throw line was just his second this season, as the Nets’ All-Star has had to adjust to the new rule changes, which prohibit ball handlers from using “overt, sudden, or unnatural non-basketball motions” in order to generate fouls.
In his previous six games, Harden had only gone to the line a total of 22 times.
Harden was “active all night,” Durant added. “He was making his way downhill and to the free-throw line, going 11-for-18 and being really effective. He looked amazing with 12 assists.”
Harden’s best scoring performance of the season follows his third triple-double of the season in a victory against Orlando on Wednesday. In his previous seven games, Harden has three triple-doubles.
The guard attributed his poor scoring start on needing to heal from a Grade 2 hamstring ailment that hindered him late last season over the summer. However, he has said many times that his game would return as he gains confidence.
When asked whether Harden is back to full strength, Nets coach Steve Nash stated, “We’ve got to be patient with him.” “I believe he still has a long way to go before he feels this way every night or at his best.” There’s fitness, then there’s rhythm, and then there’s confidence. It takes time for all three of those things to return.
“Tonight, he was fantastic. I don’t want to get too excited since he’s been extremely wonderful the previous week or two and is moving in the right direction. Let’s give him some time to reclaim his game.”
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